Employer JCS: Our Apprentice

Warise and team

Warise is an apprentice with Jackson Contracting Services, a Nottingham-based SME. I met him working on a house extension in Nottingham with owner Adam and colleague James. He began by telling me what he was working on and how it was going:

“We’re doing the plastering on a house extension at the moment, so I’m learning about putting fire-board on the RSJs, putting insulation and sound proofing on the external walls, gritting the interior walls and doing the banding to give the plaster a good edge.

“Doing the apprenticeship it gives me time to practice things like the boarding, plastering and prepping so you really learn it, for me I’ve learnt more in two months than I had in a year at college, being on this site five days a week, it stays in your mind because you keep on practicing your skills and you remember the things you’ve been taught. It’s really good being on a plastering apprenticeship.”

How long does the apprenticeship last and what do you hope to do after?

“It’s 18 months in total, afterwards I want to be fully qualified, work for these guys and work my way up, make a trade out of it really. I did joinery at college and I passed it and did all the paperwork I needed to do, but because I didn’t do an apprenticeship I didn’t feel confident to go on site and do joinery. So I tried to do a HNC in construction management but I didn’t feel confident because of my dyslexia. I did some work experience with JCS and that helped me get the apprenticeship and the site experience I need to feel confident.”

Adam, what’s it mean to you to take on a young apprentice?

“Well, I started out as an apprentice when I left school at 16, doing a brick laying apprenticeship. It wasn’t great, it was in the days when for some people the apprentice was just there to make tea and sweep up, so I never actually got hands on. So when I finished that, I was no more a brick layer than I was when I started, even though I had all the paperwork.

“Next I started as a plastering apprentice and the chap trained me up properly, I think that’s how it should work, it gives you the work ethic, teaches you how to do the work and what you are expected to do because you’re trained by someone who does it all the time. I got my apprenticeship and then I was given an apprentice myself, which was James, and I was able to instill the same work ethic which his dad, who’d been my gaffer, had instilled in me.

“So after working with James and Warise, who was a trainee at the time, for a few years I set up JCS, based in Bakersfield in the city. James came and worked for me and we decided to take on apprentice so it seemed a no brainer to take on Warise who we knew deserved a chance.”

“Apprenticeships are on a low at the moment across the country, because it’s very difficult financially and in terms of stability, especially for the smaller companies such as myself, to guarantee 18 months’ work for an apprentice so you know you’re not going to let them down at the end, or midway through.

“Fortunately, we’ve been in touch with Nottingham Jobs who have helped us a lot, and various other people including Nottingham College and CITB and they’ve done a lot for us and have helped us in such a way that it is far more financially viable to give people like Warise the work experience and training. They’ve helped us out a lot financially and the help goes a long way, makes things like this doable.”

James adds:

“I’ve known Warise for probably two years, and he did more work experience than anyone I know, he contacted more people about apprenticeships than I know, and he didn’t stop trying even after all the knock-backs he’s had in the last two years. He kept calling up, asking for another day’s work experience whenever he had free time. He’s done really well and it’s now my job to train him like Adam trained me!”

Contact Nottingham Jobs on 0115 876 4508

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